Dr. Mark Hyman On Why *Food Fix* Is The Most Important Book He’s Ever Written

Hey, it’s Marie Forleo, and welcome to the
Marie Forleo Podcast. I am so excited for today’s conversation. Look, if you care about your health, your
family’s health, and you want to solve some of our biggest collective issues like inequality
and justice and climate change, you have got to listen to this episode because I’m talking,
once again, with my dear friend, Dr. Mark Hyman. And this time, it’s about his new book, which
is spectacular, and, in my opinion, a must-read. It’s called Food Fix. Now, if you don’t know Mark yet, let me tell
you a little bit about him. Dr. Mark Hyman is a practicing family physician
and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in the field
of functional medicine. He’s the founder and director of the UltraWellness
Center, the head of strategy and innovation of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional
Medicine, and get this, a 12-time New York Times best-selling author. He’s a board president for clinical affairs
for the Institute for Functional Medicine as well. He’s also got an amazing podcast called the
Doctor’s Farmacy, and Mark is a regular contributor to several television shows and networks,
including CBS This Morning, Today, Good Morning America, The View, and CNN. You name it. He’s been all over the place, so let’s dive
into this conversation. Mark, you are amazing. Thank you so much for coming back on the show. Well, it’s a privilege, and I love talking
to you. You’re the best, so it’s a no-brainer. Well, let’s talk about this big, new book. I feel like in your heart, and, of course,
what you’ve expressed as well in the book is that perhaps this is the most important
one you’ve ever written. For context, you’ve been a New York Times
best-seller 12 times, so… Oh, yeah. There’s that. Yeah, there’s just that little thing. Tell us, what is the thesis behind Food Fix,
and why does this one, in particular, mean so much to you? Well, Marie, I’ve been a doctor for 30 years
now, sitting in my office, seeing patients. At some point, it feels like I’m just a guy
with a big bucket bailing out a sinking ship because the flood of chronic disease just
keep growing and growing and growing. Obesity, diabetes, the numbers are staggering. Six out of 10 Americans have a chronic disease. Four in 10 have more than one, and it’s projected
to be 83 million will have more than three within 10 years. We are just getting sicker and fatter than
ever. We went from 5% obesity to 40% now, 75% overweight,
and I’m like, “Wait a minute. Why are my patients so sick?” As a functional medicine doctor, I’m always
asking why, why, why. Why does my patient have this symptom? What’s the root cause? I started thinking about, “Wait a minute. If I want to help my patients, I can’t really
do it in my office. I can’t do it in the clinic or the hospital. I have to do it where actually the problem
is.” I realized it was the food they were eating
that was making most of them so sick. Then it was like, “Well, what’s the food caused
by?” It’s caused by the food system. I’m like, “What’s the food system caused by?” Well, it’s caused by our food policy. What’s that caused by? It’s caused by the food industry influencing
our government. I realized that so many of the rabbit holes
I went down were all connected, that I had thought were separate. Yes, chronic disease and food for sure, as
a functional medicine doctor, but then I’m like, “Wait a minute. The economic burden of that is staggering.” Right now, one-third of our entire federal
budget is on chronic disease. Within five years, it’s going to be about
half of every dollar that’s gathered by taxes from the government that’s a mandatory spending
dollar, which will be for Medicaid and Medicare. That’s one out of every three dollars. It’s staggering. It’s part of our $22 trillion debt. Then, I’m like, “What else is going on with
food?” Well, it’s the number one cause of climate
change. It’s destroying our pollinator species. It’s leading to the destruction of soils and
depletion of our freshwater. I’m like, “What else?” I’m like, “Well, it’s causing all kinds of
issues like mental illness is linked to food and the processed food we’re eating.” It’s linked to achievement gaps, where kids
can’t learn because they’re eating all this garbage. It’s why we’re 31st in math and reading in
the world, and Vietnam is 21st. It’s even linked to things like violence and
divisiveness in our society, and crime and homicide through the way it affects the brain. That’s not only it. Then it affects national security, which means
that we can’t mount an army because effectively 70% of kids who apply for the military are
rejected because they’re unfit to fight. So I begin to sort of link everything together,
connect the dots, and there’s a story here that no one’s told about how food is both
the cause of most of what’s wrong with the world and also the cure. That’s the sort of happy side of this, is
that it’s called Food Fix, not Food Apocalypse. Yeah. I have to say too when I started reading my
galley copy, I was sitting in my bed. I was reading it in Los Angeles. I was like, “Whoa! This is big. This is heavy.” Jersey Marie came out. I got so angry. I’m underlining stuff. I’m yelling at Josh like, “Can you believe
this?” I’m showing him the stats. I’ll read this, one of the things that you
share in the beginning: “Our food chain is plagued with corruption from seed to field
to fork to landfill. We have a moral, economic, medical, and environmental
imperative to fix it. The very survival of our species depends on
it.” I love that you shared this. Again, reading your own words. “Our most powerful tool to reverse the global
epidemic of chronic disease, heal the environment, reverse climate change, and poverty and social
injustice, reform politics, and revive economies is food.” I think one of the things that struck me most
when I was reading the book is all these dots that you’re connecting. For anyone who’s been passionate about their
health or looked at any of these other issues separately, whether it has been around chronic
disease, climate change, inequality, and injustice, you might be familiar with some of these ideas. But to see how they all knit together with
food is really a wake-up call. I’m wondering if we can talk next because,
again, for anyone listening, if you’ve got kids around, now is probably the time to put
on your headphones because there may be a possibility that Jersey Marie comes out. Look, I think all of us need to wake up and
understand how utterly corrupt and, frankly, ass-backwards our food system is right now. It feels like a deadly joke. Let me read this one paragraph from your book. You write, “We also have a co-opted government. When I asked Ann Veneman, the former Secretary
of Agriculture under George W. Bush, why we couldn’t have science guide our food policies
and agriculture, or why we don’t stop the marketing of junk foods to kids, or have more
transparent food labels, or stop subsidies for commodities turned into processed food,
or create subsidies for fruits and vegetables, she told me it was the food and agriculture’s
influence on Congress and the administration, meaning those industries.” “Almost 73% of the members of the Senate
Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and 90% of the House Agriculture Committee
received donations from Monsanto and Syngenta,” which I don’t even know who the hell Syngenta
is, but they sound not so good. It’s a seed company. There’s like four seed companies that control
60% of the seeds in the world, and they are just monstrous. I didn’t realize this, but the food industry
is the biggest industry on the planet. It’s 17% of the world’s economy, and it’s
run by a few dozen CEOs of big food companies, processed food companies, fast food companies,
fertilizer companies, seed companies, Big Ag companies. It’s just staggering. I think that the good news is, we’re seeing
real change, like Kellogg’s last week, I think, announced that it was going to get glyphosate
out of their supply chain, so no more Roundup in your Cheerios in the morning… Yay! Or your Frosted Flakes. Progress. They were outed, but it was because people
like you and I and others speak out, and the average consumer says, “We don’t want this
stuff in our food.” They were outed by Environmental Working Group
saying, “You’ve got more glyphosate in Cheerios than you do have vitamin D or vitamin B12.” Wow! Yeah, so they voluntarily changed it. General Mills committed a million acres to
regenerative agriculture, which we’ll talk about what that is, but that’s a great thing,
which is agriculture that restores the Earth, restores soil, reverses climate change, makes
healthier food. It’s fabulous, and yet, this is all done because
people are speaking out, people care, consumers care, and the big companies are listening. Yeah, I’m going to just read a few more things
because I would like my audience to get fired up because I think we can channel that being
fired-up-ness, that anger, that outrage into healthy activism and demanding change. Guys, for those of us in America, “In America,
only 2% of our farmland is used to grow fruits and vegetables, despite the fact that our
government says 50% of our diet should be fruits and vegetables.” We don’t grow enough to even satisfy that
minimum, and I thought, again, heart-breaking, 59% are commodity crops, corn, wheat, and
soy that get turned into ultra-processed food that essentially kill us and destroys the
environment. I’m wondering if you can share, Mark, what
you said when you spoke at the 2013 World Economic Forum, when everyone was talking
about how to reduce healthcare costs? What did you come and say? First of all, I’m this lowly family doctor,
and I’m at this big meeting of all the big movers and shakers in healthcare. The head of pharma companies, the head of
health insurance companies, the head of health systems, health ministers, government experts. We had deans of public health schools. I’m in this incredible panel of people up
at the front telling you how do we fix healthcare. It was, “Well, we’re going to make things
more efficient. We’re going to reduce errors. We’re going to coordinate care better. We’re going to have better health technology
and better payment systems.” I’m like, “All that sounds great, but it’s
sort of like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. How about we figure out why people are sick
in the first place, so they don’t need the healthcare. It might be because of what they’re eating.” It was hysterical because the whole room went
quiet. It was like I just literally announced the
meaning of life, and afterwards, the dean came up to me, the Dean of Columbia School
of Public Health, who was moderating the panel. She says, “Mark, that was such a great comment. We hadn’t ever thought of that.” We’re all discussing this afterwards. I’m like, “Really?” Yeah, but hey, this is the benefit of having
… All of us, I think, can get so insular in our own industries, and we start like,
“Okay, what do we work on?” It takes someone, perhaps, like you, who hasn’t
been embedded in their particular worlds to just point out sometimes the obvious, which
is, yeah, let’s look at what the Hell we’re eating that’s making us all sick in the first
place. Yeah, and I think people just don’t understand
the level at which food plays a role in our health. I think people say, “Oh, yeah, if you eat
too much, you gain weight.” It’s like, “All right, yeah, if you eat too
much of this or that, it might not be good for you,” but the scope on which it actually
causes disease and the way in which you can cure disease is just so far beyond most doctors
and the average person’s understanding. The data came out last year that 11 million
people die every year from eating, we call, ultra-processed food, which comes from basically
corn, wheat, and soy that’s made into thousands of food-like science projects that are industrial
products that aren’t really food like Twinkies or whatever, Doritos. 11 million people die every year, and I think
that’s an underestimate. That’s the amount of people that died in the
entire Holocaust in World War II. It’s a staggering amount, and yet, no one
really is talking about this. No one is saying, “Wait a minute. Let’s look at this as a crisis.” Look, we’re all scared about coronavirus. It’s killed a few hundred people. It’s terrible, but it’s not 11 million people,
right? Yeah. The world’s up in arms. We’ve got viruses. We got tests. We got this. Nobody’s talking about this. Well, I think, yeah, we human beings, right,
are generally terrible at understanding long-term consequences, the things that we do every
single day, that over time, destroy us. I think that’s one of the challenges, but
I love that you are raising the alarm here. I just want to say too, in terms of most just
every day, regular, normal Americans, normal people around the world –– we’ve got folks
listening in from 195 countries –– that we just don’t recognize how important this
is. I want to give two personal points on this. One, several years ago, I almost lost my dad
because his kidneys were failing. He passed out in a bank, cracked his head
open on the marble floor. Type II diabetes, forget about it. He was just going in the wrong direction,
and everything in his body started to fail. I had been trying to encourage the eating
of the more green things called vegetables and all this stuff, but all of us, myself
included, you only kind of wake up when you wake up. I’ll tell you now, my dad’s in his mid-70s,
completely cured of his Type II diabetes. He used to be on, I think, like 16 medications
a day. I think he’s one maybe one tiny half of something. He works out five days a week in the morning,
plus an hour on his bike every day. He’s more fit than most people I know. His energy and stamina is just out of the
roof. I’ll say this too, me, I know about a lot
of this. You and I have talked. You’re a dear friend. I pay attention to these things because I
care about my health and my performance. I just had a series of tests done, and I learned
that I’ve developed a gluten insensitivity. That came out of nowhere. Just for the past few weeks, I’ve been like,
“Okay, this is great.” I’ve been traveling a bit, so I have to go
back and do a few more things to check out, make sure everything’s cool. I’m sure it is, but even me removing gluten
from my diet these past few weeks, I had called my doctor because I was feeling like a little
bit of brain fog that felt unusual to me, and also feeling, in terms of my mood, my
mood was off. I was like, “This doesn’t feel like me.” Honestly, Mark, I thought it was maybe hormonal. When I got all the tests done, it was like,
“Oh, look at this. Something I was eating,” and I eat tons
of organic food, was causing me to kind of go… Anyway, I want to say that for everyone listening,
even for people like, “Oh, I shop all the right things. I eat all the right things.” It’s like no one is exempt from this. No one. No, it’s true. I think people don’t connect how bad they
feel with what they’re eating because it’s just this low-level, “Oh, am I a little achy,
or am I congested, or I got a little irritable bowel, digestive issues. Maybe I have a little sinus problem or headaches
or whatever,” and they don’t connect the dots between what they’re eating and how they feel. I think that is really the most powerful insight
that people can get by doing a quick reset. We created something called the 10-Day Detox,
10-Day Reset. People can go on and figure it out, but it’s
super easy, and it’s free. It’s just a way for everybody to have the
insight that the reason they feel like crap is because of what they’re eating. Eating, yes! Yeah. I was just in London speaking to people about
Everything Is Figureoutable, my book, and we were talking about a bunch of things. I was thinking to myself too, “I want to pull
these people aside and go, ‘Look, I can tell you all the things that you can do from a
mindset perspective and from habits and perspectives, but we have to look at your biology and what
you’re putting in your body, and how that is impacting how you feel and how you think
and your energy and all that. Anyway, moving on. Well… Yeah, go for it. Well, it’s important because I think people
don’t often understand why they feel bad, and we see so much depression, anxiety, panic
attacks, behavior problems in kids, violence, divisiveness in society. People don’t get that that’s connected to
what we’re eating. I think you probably know David Perlmutter. He’s a neurologist, and he wrote in a book
called Brainwash, where he explained how our inflammatory diet of ultra-processed foods
decouples the adult in our brain from the reptile. In other words, the frontal lobe, which is
our adult in the room that makes rational decisions, makes sure you don’t do something
terrible, is what keeps us safe in a sense. Then the reptile brain is just reactive, and
yelling, and fighting, and fleeing. It’s sort of the lizard brain. Yet, the lizard brain is taking over, which
is why we see all this violence and hatred and divisiveness, whether it’s the diet wars
or whether it’s the Republicans and Democrats, It’s all so divided, and the reason is that
partly, I think, because we are in a culture that serves food that makes our brains not
work properly. 100%. Again, my own personal experience of this,
of just dipping my toe in and seeing the difference of how I feel on a daily basis based on what
I eat, how I am thinking, how I’m reacting, all of it, it is absolutely interlinked. In fact, this is a great bridge. I want to talk about how big food companies
are targeting certain communities, kids, teenagers, poor people, black and brown people, both
here and around the world. Before we dive in, I have a few bullet points
here. Again, all this pulled out of your book. “Every year, Coke and McDonald’s spends $1.8
billion marketing their products to kids as young as two years old.” That’s criminal. “From 2013 to 2017, food advertising on black-targeted
TV increased by 50%. Black teens viewed 119% more junk food-related
ads, mostly for soda, than white teens.” As you explained a little earlier while this
matters, all of our kid’s future is threatened by the achievement gap caused, in large part,
by their inability to learn on a diet of fast food and sugar. These two next points, Mark, I’m telling you,
this is where Jersey Marie got so fired up, and I’m thinking, “How do I use my marketing
smarts to tackle this.” That’s where my brain was going. The president of Coca-Cola international,
Ahmet Bozer, said this to a group of investors in 2014. “There’s 600 million teenagers who have not
had a Coke in the last week, so the opportunity for that is huge.” Obviously, the data shows us that soda kills. Then, this last one, I’m like… Here’s basically my response right after what
I’m about to read. I’ll read it first, and then I’ll tell you. “Nestle recruits thousands of women in some
of the poorest towns in Brazil to go door-to-door selling candies and processed food as part
of its goal to expand its global reach to a quarter-million Brazilian households.” Okay, so one of the things I’m shocked by,
Mark, when I travel around, is how many different people listen to my show. I’m often sometimes surprised. Pundits and people that I admire, they’re
like, “Oh, my God. I’m a fan.” I’m like, “Wow, this is amazing.” If anyone right now works for Nestle or Coke
or is connected to them, y’all, you need to get your shit together because I feel like
what they’re doing is selling poison for profit. This is not okay. It’s not. Here’s a problem is we basically have a food
system that was created out of good intentions that’s had incredibly bad consequences. Yes, during the period of industrialization
after World War II, we started using fertilizer, and pesticides, and herbicides, and industrial
farming methods, and factory farming of animals, and it was thought to be a good thing because
it was going to provide more food for more people, produce lots of extra, starchy calories,
which we all thought were needed. And it was very successful at that. But no one really understood the unintended
consequences of when we made Crisco and trans fats or when we made high-fructose corn syrup. It was an attempt to try to do something good,
but it turned very bad. Now, these companies are stuck in a legacy
of products and businesses that need to adapt to a future that is going to be very different. Because if we don’t, we’re going to have no
food. We’re going to have no water. We’re going to have no pollinators. We’re going to have massive levels of chronic
disease, and of course, rapid climate change. I think these companies are starting to get
it, and they’re adapting their products. They’re taking out bad ingredients. They’re reformulating products. They’re buying up all the health food companies. They’re investing in regenerative agriculture
and sustainability issues. It’s interesting to see that there’s this
shift happening in the last couple years because… Thank God. You just pulled me back from the edge because
I was getting all mad at them. Yeah. It was interesting. It’s easy to be, “They’re evil out there,
and we’re the good guys here,” but, over the years, I’ve gotten to meet a lot of these
people, the top executive of Pepsi and Nestle and Danone, these companies where there’s
a real interest in trying to figure this out, and getting at they’re killing their customers,
and that they’re actually, by the very methods of farming that are being used to produce
their products, they’re affecting their future success and their ability to grow because
it’s just not sustainable. I see there’s a movement. It’s not fast enough. They still are doing bad things, so it’s like
left-hand, right-hand kind of thing. While they’re saying we want to do the right
thing, some of them are doing very subversive tactics to drive policy change that’s in their
interest like preemptive taxes where they’re forcing through various kinds of manipulation,
bribery, and influence governors that pass laws to preempt any future taxes on soda or
junk food. It’s not 100% clean, and there’s still some
bad acting in there, but I think things are shifting in the right direction. Well, that’s good. The marketing thing, though, is huge. We have the First Amendment in this country,
which is a great thing, but it should not allow us to target children in ways that are
manipulative, that are subversive, that are… Predatory. It’s predatory in nature. Predatory, yeah. This guy, Guido Girardi, who’s the vice president
of the senate in Chile, was able to introduce a whole set of legislation in Chile with Michelle
Bachelet, who was the president. They were both doctors, which is why I think
this has happened because they knew what was going on. They basically did all this great stuff, like
getting rid of marketing to kids. It showed a four-fold reduction in consumption
compared to soda taxes. They got rid of cartoon characters on cereal
boxes. They put warning labels. All of it was great, and the guy said that
he thinks that food companies are the 21st-century pedophiles. Now, that’s a strong statement. Not sure I agree, but I think it just speaks
to the ways in which these kids are being targeted. Now, it’s not so obvious. If you see an ad and a cartoon character,
Ronald McDonald, on TV on a Saturday, everybody knows what’s going on. Now, there’s 5.4 billion ads just alone in
one year on Facebook by the food companies. There’s millions and millions and hundreds
of millions of ads on social media, and other things that are sort of stealth. It’s called stealth marketing. They have advergames where they literally
create fun games for kids online that are on social media that are “free” but are embedded
with McDonald’s and Oreo cookies and Wendy’s and whatever. It’s unfairly targeting them, and they actually
are not just so benign. They’re actually imaging these kid’s brains,
so they literally put kids on an MRI machine. They can look at the blood flow, and they
can see if the imaging they use in their advertising activates the emotional response they want
so the kid will want to get it. Kids at two years old can name brand name
products, and they probably can’t even name a vegetable. So I’m back on my Jersey Marie kick. Okay. We got to, we got to… We do. We can absolutely applaud and celebrate moves
in the right direction, and we can say, “It’s not enough, and there are certain things that
need done.” I’m going to keep going. I want to talk about the loss of biodiversity
in agriculture systems, and specifically, one of my favorite parts of the book, something
I’ve been fascinated by recently and learning more and more about is regenerative practices
and the difference between dirt and soil. Can you speak to that? Yeah. Okay, well, this is a fairly new field. We’ve heard about organic. We’ve heard about sustainable, and what’s
really happening at a high level in our agriculture system is we’re farming in ways that destroy
the soil. We’ve lost a third of all our topsoil in the
last 150 years. We’re projected to lose all of it within 60
harvests. It’s important because when you have soil,
it’s rich in organic matter and carbon, and it basically sucks carbon out of the atmosphere. It can hold more than all the greenhouse gases
that are in the atmosphere today. It conserves water, so you literally can hold
for every 1% organic matter in the soil, you can hold 25,000 gallons of water. You can have 68% organic matter, which will
prevent droughts and floods, and create resilience to weather. It also increases the ecosystem diversity,
so you get more pollinators and insects and good plants. It creates a whole healthy ecosystem for the
farmer where he makes better food, makes more money, it’s more climate and weather resistant. He builds soil, actually doesn’t use chemical
inputs, conserves water, and makes 20 times the amount of money as his neighbor, so it’s
a win-win all around. I think people are beginning to understand
that this form of agriculture is far better and is actually necessary compared to what
we have now, which is destructive and extractive agriculture where you till the soil, and you
just leave bare soil, and you use chemicals and fertilizers and pesticides. This whole movement toward regenerative agriculture
is, I think, one of the most critical things that’s going on now because if we start at
the farm, we create better food, we reverse climate change, we create better working conditions
for farmers, better conditions for the animals because they’re out there grazing, and people
don’t have to become vegan in order to save the planet. That’s certainly the message out there, but
when you dig down deeper, actually, the best way to restore the climate and the best way
to actually build soil is integrating animals into a regenerative farm. You don’t have to eat them, but you still
have to do that. You actually build more life. You create more wild habitat for the natural
animals in that habitat. Whereas, for example, if you’re having these
big organic vegetable farms that are massive and are not done in a regenerative way, you
literally are killing tons of animals. There’s a study that came out that if you’re
eating only vegetables and beans and grains, so forth, you’re literally killing seven billion
animals a year through conventional agriculture. Whereas we kill about 29 million cows, which
is a lot in this country, but seven billion… Even if you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you’re
still in the cycle, or, as they said in the Lion King, the circle of life. And regenerative agriculture is just a much
better way to actually do all the things we want to do, which is to create better food
that’s better for people that reverses disease that reverses climate change. It really is fascinating, and it feels like
the way of future. It gives me such a feeling of hope and a feeling
of returning us to more connection with each other and with nature and with everything
that’s alive. It’s true, and it’s scalable. People say, “Oh, it’s sort of elitist, and
nobody can do it,” but the truth is, it is scalable. The UN said recently that if we took $300
billion, which is basically the military spending of the entire world for 60 days, so two months
of spending on war, and we invested it to help convert the two million of the five million
hectares of degraded land around the world to regenerative agriculture, we could stop
climate change for 20 years. We literally could just press pause. What? Yeah. $300 billion, that’s less than Medicare spends
on diabetes in this country. It’s a solvable problem, and it is scalable. We have so much degraded land in the United
States. We can convert land that it’s not usable for
other things like growing vegetables or crops to using animals to incorporate into the ecosystem
that actually builds soil. That’s how we got 50 to 80 feet of topsoil
in America was we had 60, 80 million ruminants like bison and elk running around America
and building all this soil. They dig and eat and poop and pee, and the
saliva would make the plants grow. They wouldn’t graze it down to the stubble. They would graze enough and then move on to
the next fresh patch. It was such a win-win for everything. They weren’t causing climate change. It’s not the animals. It’s how they are raised. Russ Conser, who’s a regenerative farmer,
said, “It’s not the cow. It’s the how.” I think people think, “Oh, well, I’m going
to switch to plant-based meats. That’s better.” Yes, it’s much better for the environment
than eating conventional factory farming, but when you compare it in the life cycle
analysis to, for example, the Impossible Burger, because it’s GMO soy and the soy’s grown in
conventional ways. It degrades soil and all the things we talked
about, and the herbicides. Compared to a regeneratively-raised beef burger,
you actually add three and a half kilos of carbon for an Impossible Burger, and you take
out three and a half kilos of carbon for a regenerative burger. You literally have to eat one regeneratively-raised
grass-fed burger to offset the carbon emissions of an Impossible Burger. This is why your book is so important for
people to read, to understand and to look at the science, and to kind of open all of
our eyes to solutions that are out there that just feel right. I think that’s one of the most striking things
about… For me, reading your book, it was like so
much of this is common sense, yet none of it is common practice yet. There are people, of course, doing such great
work, and we’re getting there, but I’m excited for everyone listening to get your book, and
to read it, and hopefully, raise their voices because it’s necessary. Just looking at climate in and of itself,
if you kind of extract and just zoom in on that issue, again, everything else is so important,
but pretty soon, we’re not going to have a planet to live one if we don’t handle it. I want to keep moving, though, because for
folks listening and thinking about maybe they missed our earlier episodes, I think we should
talk about how anyone can eat healthier no matter what their budget for groceries. For anyone listening who’s thinking about,
“Okay, well, what about my health? I might have some brain fog. I might have those bloated feelings or just,
gosh, irritable bowel syndrome,” or just things happening that you kind of assume is, “Oh,
this is my human body.” Well, maybe not. What do we start with? How can you give us some tips about where
to get started no matter we live or how much we can spend? Absolutely. In the book, I realize it’s a big ask I’m
making to think about the whole system, but I have a whole action guide where the average
person can do a lot. There’s so much that we can do to change our
footprint on the planet to improve our health. The first thing is just think about when you’re
eating, how you eat for the health of humans and the planet. It’s sort of a different little framework
on it. It’s just not about you anymore. It’s about the bigger context. I jokingly created something called the Pegan
Diet, which essentially is combining whole foods and getting rid of all the diet wars,
and eating a lot of plant-rich foods, low starch and sugar, lots of good fats, lots
of nuts and seeds. If you’re eating animals, make sure they’re
regeneratively-raised if you can. Whole grains and beans, not the flours. Get rid of sugary beverages. Really simple things that I outline in the
book about how to do this. I’ve written cookbooks. My last one was Food: What the Heck Should
I Cook? It’s great. You can make such delicious food. Then, the other thing is think about ways
just to drive the marketplace with your choices. Do we know GMO is bad for us? I don’t know. We can argue that all day long. We do know that what they put on GMO is bad
for us, the pesticides and the herbicides. There’s no question about that. Don’t buy GMO foods. There are a lot of companies now that are
putting non-GMO labels on, so you actually know that they don’t have GMOs posted, which
is the opposite of what we should have, which is putting a label on that it does have GMO. But that sends a big message. It changes the supply chain. It makes people buy different things, and
companies produce different things. Campbell’s Soup got rid of all GMO in their
food. Not that Campbell’s Soup is great, but …
Yeah. Then there’s things that you can do simply
like food waste. We didn’t talk about that, but we waste 40%
of our food on the planet. That’s enough that it would have to be grown
on the entire landmass of China. It’s a waste of $2.6 trillion a year. It would feed 10.5 billion people, and all
we have to do is imagine going home and throwing 40% of our food out from the grocery store. That’s pretty much what we do in America. So you can have a compost pile. Take your food scraps, and make a little compost
pile. You can have urban composting machines that
you can use in your apartment if you live in an apartment. And, in fact, when you do that, you’re helping
to reverse climate change because when the food goes to the landfill, it releases methane,
which is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. If it were a country, food waste would be
the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the U.S. and China. It’s a fixable problem. Of course, people want to become politically
active. They can do that. I think there is a little bit of a sense of
defeatism there, but it matters. You turn up the heat on the politicians. You can go to foodpolicyaction.org, and they
have a list of your congressmen and senators, what they vote on on the food and ag issues. People have been outed from Congress because
of ag groups that’s actually created social media campaigns. Maybe you want to advocate for a municipal
composting ordinance in your town, or maybe you want to work with your schools to help
improve school lunches like many examples I give in there. People can even get more serious about it
by taking their money and only investing in businesses that are doing the right thing. Recently, there was a giant… I think it was one of the biggest investment
for the blank… Was it the Blackstone or Blackzone, maybe? They literally have trillions in assets, and
the head of that fund said, “We’re going to not invest in any companies that aren’t helping
to protect against climate change or that are not stopping climate change.” They’re not going to invest in fossil fuels. They’re not going to invest in factory farming
of animals. They’re not going to do all those things,
which his huge, and money speaks. That’s right. There is a company called goodmoney.com. I think a friend of ours, Gunnar, runs it,
and it’s essentially the idea that you can choose where your money’s going. My daughter’s like, “Well, I don’t want to
be invested in TD Bank because they fund the Dakota Pipeline,” and they were doing all
this. I was like, “Wow, that’s an incredible way
of thinking about how you can be empowered about what to do.” I love it. For people listening right now too, who might
be on their own health journey, and I think that there is a significant portion of our
listening population who might be there right now working their best, getting as many veggies
as they possibly can, looking to take care of their health, I’m curious if you can also
tell us about the story of Janice, and what is possible. Because I think for some people… You mentioned this feeling defeatist, especially
around our politics here in the States, and I think it’s true in other parts of the world
as well. Part of that is like, “Oh, nothing I do makes
a difference,” could be tied back to your health. I know Janice, who was dancing with death
at like 66 years old. She was severely obese, suffering from heart
failure, Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease. What happened when she really woke up and
understood that a food fix was possible for her? Well, Janice was like many Americans who grew
up eating junk food. She was actually fairly educated, but her
family never really had a food culture. Everything was processed, packaged, or in
a box or can. She just ate that way her whole life. By the time she was 66, she was 243 pounds
with a body mass index of 43. Normal was like 25 or less. She had Type II diabetes. Her blood sugars were out of control, on tons
of insulin. She had heart failure. She had kidney failure. She had fatty liver, and she had high blood
pressure, and was on a pile of drugs. She literally was about to go out. She really wasn’t going to last much longer. She came to our program at the Cleveland Clinic
called Functioning for Life, which is a group program where people do stuff together. It’s always better to do stuff, and that’s
why your work is so great because you get people together on programs and approaches
that really help motivate them. Within three days of changing her diet, essentially
what I talk about in the Food Fix book, the 10-Day Reset, she got off insulin in three
days. In three months, she normalized her blood
sugars. Her heart failure reversed. Her kidneys got better. Her fatty liver got better. Her blood pressure normalized, and she got
off most of her medications and lost 43 pounds. She kept going, and after a year, she lost
116 pounds as a completely different person. It’s just striking to see how powerful food
is because we think, “Oh, well, food is good. It’s prevention. If I eat healthy, I won’t get sick in the
future. Actually, that’s true, but it’s also true
that food is probably the most powerful drug on the planet to reverse most chronic disease
if you know how to use it. That’s what was so inspiring to me about Janice. It’s like, here’s someone at 66 who’s really
about to check out, and look at what happened to them, just very, very, quickly by changing
their diet and actually following these principles that food is medicine, and choosing the right
stuff. It’s available to everybody. Yes, and we won’t go back because we won’t
go tread over material that we did before, but hopefully, when people read Food Fix and
understand just how the systems are preventing so many people from having easier access to
those things. Individually and collectively, we all got
a lot of food fixes to make. Mark, I adore you. Is there anything else besides getting the
book, which, of course, I recommend everyone do and share with their family… Anywhere else you want them to go and check
out if they are passionate about this topic? Absolutely. I created a website called foodfixbook.com,
and there’s a lot of great free resources on there, including my video, Five Steps to
a Healthy You and a Healthier Planet. And, also, our action guide, which gives actions
for you, for policies that need to change that you can be vocal about, and business
innovations that can happen. Then there’s a whole bunch of wonderful bonuses
if people get the books. They can just go to foodfixbook.com. I’m also creating a campaign, which is a nonprofit
and an advocacy group because I was with Sam Kass the other day, who was the senior policy
guy in the White House under Obama for food, and he said, “You know, everybody came from
the industry with all these regulations and laws and legislation written and policies,
and these briefing books, and they would give them to the lawmakers, but nobody came for
the good guys. Nobody came for advocating for what we really
need to do.” So that’s really where I’m working now, is
really build a grassroots movement and advocacy campaign to change these policies that are
driving some of us wrong. How do we support regenerative agriculture? How do we deal with the food marketing to
kids? How do we deal with producing better quality
food? How do we subsidize the right stuff? I’m really excited about it, and it’s probably
going to be foodfix.org is the URL when it comes out. But stay tuned. You’re going to hear more about that. This is not a book. It’s a movement, and hope you all join. Yeah, you’re awesome. Well, I’ll just say this. I’ll say it publicly. I’ve been thinking as time goes on, I keep
wanting to use my very genius marketing skills, because I’m really good at what I do, to continue
to create good in this world. So consider me a pal and a friend because
I feel like we can do some really fun campaigns. I think marketing on the right side of the
change we want to see can really some of that support too. Thank you for the work that you do in this
world. You are amazing. I have so many dear, personal friends that
are like, “Oh, my God. You’re friends with Mark? He’s the best.” We love you. I had the same comments. “You’re friends with Marie? She’s amazing.” It’s a lovefest. We adore you. Thank you for writing this book. Thank you for being a champion and for what
we all need, which is greater health and a more peaceful, just, and equitable world. Thanks for coming on today. Thank you, Marie. Oh, my goodness. Was that not an incredible conversation or
what? We talked about a lot of things. Mark and I, of course, would love to hear
from you. What is the biggest insight or takeaway that
you’ve gotten from this conversation? And most important, how can you turn that
insight into action? What steps are you going to take for your
own food fix starting now? Again, I do highly recommend the book. Now, as always, the best conversations happen
over at the magical land of marieforleo.com, so go there and leave a comment now. If you’re not yet subscribed to our email
list, what’s going on? You should be. I send the most amazing emails, usually once
a week, so go over there, hop on the email list. You’ll get some exclusive content, special
giveaways, and some personal updates that I just don’t share anywhere else. Stay on your game, and keep going for your
dreams because the world really does need that very special gift that only you have. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of
the Marie Forleo Podcast, and I’ll catch you next time. Hey, you having trouble bringing your dreams
to life? Guess what. The problem isn’t you. It’s not that you’re not hardworking or
intelligent or deserving. It’s that you haven’t yet installed the
one key belief that will change it all. Everything is Figureoutable. It’s my new book and you can order it now
at everythingisfigureoutable.com.

25 thoughts on “Dr. Mark Hyman On Why *Food Fix* Is The Most Important Book He’s Ever Written

  1. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT! Too much sugar causes Diabetes, Ruins Immune System! Vitamins & Minerals Are Essential

  2. Thanks for this conversation Marie! Love how passionate and positive Mark is about changing the food system.

  3. Shared it immediately with my friends! Thank you guys for making an actual change while educating so many of us! While listening to this podcast, I realized that the reason why I always failed with my died was, that I almost made every right decision with the food I choose but I thought something is wrong with me, because I am not able to "balance" some of the processed unhealthy foods in it. Whenever I am in my routine and feel great about myself, I tried to include some of processed foods, unhealthy snacks or what so ever and it took me immediately out of my routine .And I always did it because I though that's what's normal. I grew up that way and compared to my lifestyle today it's the complete opposite. When I met family members they almost looked at me like I am not normal. If you rather eat vegetables than mac and cheese they would roll their eyes. I know…and it triggert me so often. In so many situations. it's what society is telling us. "Balance is the key"
    No its not- feeling good in my body and prioritizing it is! I dont want this anymore. I actually like the way I am when I am eating clean and REAL foods and to recognize how much more productive I am and how less depressed my thoughts are.. I am so DONE with this carousel. And I make the chance from now on. To everyone who is reading this: the first days or weeks will be f*ing hard. Keep going guys we are in this together 🌎 we got this 🙏🏼 Day one or one day? WE GET TO DECIDE.

    Marie, I can not say it enough ….you inspire me in so many ways. Thank you girl

  4. I think doctor fix it thinks the cows inhale air and grow big. Are you kidding me ? Billions of cows are fed soy and corn to produce unethical amount of milk for human consumption. Vegans kill more animals to produce veggies point is null when you think about that.

  5. So disappointed Marie. The first episode that i dislike with all my heart. Watch THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT HEALTH and see what really makes people healthy…according to SCIENCE. Dr. HYMAN…If you are not vegan in 2020 you are not even equipped in the slightest to talk about human health or to talk about saving the planet. This is just crazy….Dr. Hyman the big proponent of animal foods is now explaining to us how to get healthy and to save the planet. Has this world gone crazy??? PLEASE Marie….look into Dr. PAMELA POPPER change your own health to superior levels AND have her on your show. To have this longterm lier on your show….I can't believe. Watch Dr. CALDWELL ESSELSTYN and see for yourself how SCIENCE is not supporting anybody who advocates animal products. Dr. Hyman has not a single scientific study on his side that has ever shown animal products to be beneficial to human health. Get Dr . MICHAEL GREGER on the show and SEE how you have been misled here. Of course Gluten intolerance is a thing. Ditching gluten saved my life and mental sanity BUT other than that….Vegan is what science is proving daily in all the new studies. Watch nutritionfacts on youtube and see Dr. Michael Greger ecplaining to you todays science. Please.

  6. Marie……get the book MASTERING DIABETES and see for yourself what SCIENCE says about REALLY curing diabetes naturally and not only masking it up….which is what your dad does untill now. Even quicker…..watch the amazing youtube videos from Mastering Diabetes and see for yourself what science REALLY has proven every time without fail from 1920 to 2020.

  7. Marie…readers are leaders….and you already are a leader….so please take the time to really look into the sources I gave you….and SEE for yourself.

  8. It is so true, there are so many reasons to be conscious about the foods that we eat! We have the power to choose what we use our money toward! Even regarding factory farming, we should lower our meat consumption because all of the animal farming has created massive amounts of methane and also the pollutants are put into the areas where poor people live and contaminate their soil! We HAVE THE POWER to make CHANGE with our WALLETS!

  9. This episode is full of powerful information about the state of food and our world. Use these quick links to find the highlights:

    1:52 — The shocking link between chronic disease and corrupt food policies.
    14:40 — Why most of our health, mental and societal problems stem from what we eat
    17:20 — How massively popular food brands are using predatory marketing practices on children… and what you can do about it.
    22:15 — How the entire country of Chile dramatically reduced soda consumption.
    27:30 — The 60-day solution that could stop climate change for 20 years.
    28:45 — Why meat-alternatives like the Impossible Burger are not enough to fix our food system.
    30:15 — How to eat better no matter your grocery budget.
    35:00 — An inspiring story about a woman who used food to reverse a life-threatening chronic disease.

    Enjoy this episode? You may also like my previous episode with Mark where we dig even more into nutrition and functional medicine: https://youtu.be/YGD6WC0arqY

  10. Loved this episode Jersey Marie and Mark! Thank you so much!

  11. Marie, I love you, but this episode is a big dislike. That the term pegan is being used, which of course is a corruption of the word vegan, is too bad for words. Veganism has nothing to do with food, and everything to do with not wanting to contribute to the exploitation of animals. In addition, there are lots of studies coming out daily, which shows us that a diet based on only plants is the healthiest for the human body. The so-called pegan diet is nothing but a trendy diet, which simply sounds good because the term vegan is popular. Someone mentioned it in the comments before, but please look into Dr. Michael Greger from nutritionfacts.org and start spreading the truth.

  12. Jeresy cow gives a1 milk and worse than pig.
    The various problems associated with humpless cow’s toxic  A1 milk are:
    – Autism,
    – Diabetes-type 1
    – Sudden death Syndrome in infants
    – Ulcerative colitis,
    – Cardiac problems
    – Multiple sclerosis,
    – Mental disorders
    – Parkinsons 
    – Schizophrenia.
    – Obesity
    – Arteriosclerosis
    – Intolerance bloating

  13. Marie, I have been a bschooler since 2012 and I have never been so disappointed and heartbroken in something coming from you who I have idolised all this time. To just say that vegans and vegetarians are killing 7 billion animals without context of time or comparison to animals agriculture is poor journalism at its finest. Animal agriculture kills 70 Billion animals and 1 Trillion fish annually… Not to mention that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of beef and 100 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk. To try and promote a word like ‘pegan’ and completely disrespect the real victims being protected by the word ‘vegan’ is both ignorant and heartbreaking on such a large platform like yours. From one Italian girl to another, I really hope you take the time to make this right. As it stands right now, more than 99% of the population does not have access to food in the way that Mark described, meaning that eating the way you are advising is still fueling the very problem you are trying to solve. Billions of animals continue to suffer as a result of conversations like this one and it breaks my heart to see you playing a part. 💔

  14. WTF all of these fired me up as well! Besides food, what is your opinion of our own thoughts making us sick as well?

  15. When I discovered (from my own acid-reflux health issue) the reason people were eating organically back in the early 2000's I was amazed at how my health changed but my vocal excitement to family & friends fell on deaf ears. I was connecting the dots to food but everyone thought I was nuts. The takeaway I have from this podcast is that we can do something little ourselves and if possible, also do something together as some type of a group so we stay focused on the bigger picture. I am a Surface/Textile designer by education with a strong desire to show that food is our saving grace for both our health and our planet.

  16. Informative, empowering ,a compelling true eyes opener podcast thanks

  17. This was one of the most disturbing, empowering and exciting interviews I have ever heard. As a wellness nurse, I have long advocated for "food as medicine" and "food as poison". I wrote a book called" Take Charge of Your Health" 2009 talking about this very topic! The chronic illnesses and obesity that we are seeing in the US is heartbreaking and people are suffering. We can now add that the planet is being destroyed from the very way these horrible foods are being created. With that said- WE CAN BE THE CHANGE!!! THANK YOU Marie and Mark for spelling out what we can do to make the change. Myself and my team are behind you 1000%. To be continued. xoxoxo Suzanne

  18. Some of the comments below indicate that not everyone commenting have read the book or they would have seen clearly that Dr Hyman talks about how feeding our animals grains is one of the worse things we have done for the environment. He urges everyone to fill their plates with Whole Foods, veggies, but that having animals graze and eat grass like they are suppose to changes the composition of soil and small quality portions of protein from these animals provides some quality nutrients missing when only eating plants. The other point he makes is that nobody knows their body better the each of us individually and each of us will find a meal plan that supports how we feel best. I happen to be someone who does not do well with only vegetables and need more protein sources to feel my best. He clearly says that everyone is different and that we have to get to know our bodies and what makes it function optimally.

  19. I went back and forth on leaving this as a comment… cause it's kind of a weird one… but I think it's a relevant and important point to be made when talking about chronic illness on this platform. I have been chronically ill for well over 10 years. Out of work for 4. The past few years have been relentless onslaught of testing, procedures and surgeries. My days are difficult to navigate. There are so many steps to everything–making food, eating, exercises I have to do after eating, exercises for PT, exercises for strength building, constant breaks to get/be sick… my point is, when you're chronically ill, nothing is easy, and so many little things are slow moving and carry a lot of weight. Being able to eat before my food goes cold is one. Showers and baths are another. They're so therapeutic, one of the more accessible therapies a lot of us have at home to relieve pain/symptoms. I always bring my phone in to play music off of youtube because you just don't know what you need to hear that day to keep going (a common practice for many chronically ill folks I know)… to even get in the shower in the first place… it can feel way too big and hard a lot of days. So today when I got in the shower, I set up my phone on youtube and got in the shower to wash off (which I haven't been able to do for 3 days) and the music kept getting interrupted for your podcast… a full episodes… as an "ad?" I'm not sure if this is a mistake on youtube's part, or if it somehow got mistakenly filed when uploading? Or if this is something people are doing now to get more exposure. If it's the last reason, please reconsider. Especially if you're mindful and educating about chronic illness. I have a literal army of doctors and am constantly reading new articles, research, blogs… my life mostly revolves around health and wellness, particularly with food, which is the exact subject you're addressing. I would love to listen to this in full eventually to see if there's any good new information. But please listen to this youtube comment from a chronically ill person who cares A LOT about what you're talking about… if you're advocating for us, please don't post entire episodes as ads. Our little therapies are literally the things that get us through. A short clip of the episode would def let us know what you're podcast is about. Entire episodes basically kill whatever you were listening to… it's effectively a takeover. Maybe other people do this? But a lot of people aren't very mindful of others these days, and the content of this podcast suggests you very much are. If you read this, thank you for your time. And thank you for bringing this info to light for more people. And if this is some crazy internet/youtube thing I don't understand that you don't actually have any power over, I apologize. Obviously, it'd be great if we could all just go ad free, but the sad truth is, a lot of chronically ill folks are not in a working/financial situation to enjoy such additional perks.

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